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article imageBitcoin breaks through $19,000 setting new high

By Ken Hanly     Dec 17, 2017 in Technology
As investors prepare for a second bitcoin futures launch by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) its price reached a new high of $19,783.06 at 12:14 UTC today , December 17th.
The next big breakthrough will be $20,000. In the last 24 hours alone bitcoin (BTC) has gained 10 percent. A year ago it was trading below a thousand. Only a month ago it was still under $8,000 less than half its price now. In the past seven days it has risen in price almost 35 percent
Everyone is wondering when the upward price flight will end or if it will continue through the stratosphere.
First futures market also boosted price
Last weekend when the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) launched the first futures market prices broke through $16,000, The launch was discussed in a recent Digital Journal article. The upward boost appears to be repeating itself today.
A major part in the rallies after the future exchange launches are hopes that the future exchanges will attract mainstream investors and institutional money. The chart of the price changes also appears moderately bullish.
Social media comments predict bitcoin price to test $24,000
On social media a significant number of investors are said to be expecting bitcoin to test the $24,000 mark in the short run.
Technical analysis also exhibits signs for further upside in the bitcoin price, although it also shows overbought conditions.
Bitcoin has crashed before
The price of bitcoin is notoriously volatile and even within the recent rising tendency there have been drops of thousands of dollars.
According to Dr Daniele Bianchi of the UK Warwick Business school earlier crashes were due to hacking, regulatory interventions, or technology updates with subsequent competition from other cryptocurrencies.
The worst case arguably is the hacking of the leading exchange Mt. Gox, Wikipedia summarizes it as follows: Mt. Gox announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time.[9][10] Although 200,000 bitcoins have since been "found", the reason(s) for the disappearance—theft, fraud, mismanagement, or a combination of these—were initially unclear. New evidence presented in April 2015 by Tokyo security company WizSec led them to conclude that "most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the Mt. Gox hot wallet over time, beginning in late 2011."
After China banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and closed down bitcoin exchanges the price of bitcoin fell. South Korea also banned ICOs. There was also a drop after a rise when a hard fork in bitcoin was avoided recently but the price soon recovered. Some money appeared to be transferring to alternatives to bitcoin such as bitcoin cash and litecoin.
Bianchi explained: "This tells one simple story; the main risk for Bitcoin comes from external factors such as regulatory intervention and security breaches which might hit the credibility of the entire protocol and its effective usefulness as a method of payment/store of value."
He also expects that competing currencies like bitcoin cash could impact the original bitcoin currently generating all the attention : "The very open source nature of Bitcoin makes it vulnerable to competition, although the “first-mover” advantage had so far gave a gap with other competitors which is hard to close."
There are many warnings about the risks of investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including a recent one by Charlie Lee the founder of litecoin.
Perhaps the future is not ours to see, especially in this case, and we will just have to wait and see what happens. However, there are predictions in the appended video.
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